Atherosclerosis On-going Research

In the battle against atherosclerosis, the stakes remain high. Atherosclerosis involves inflammation and build-up of fatty plaques, or atheroma within vessel walls, which eventually lead to the hardening and narrowing of the arteries. When an atheroma ruptures, a blood clot can form to trigger a heart attack or stroke.

Because development of atherosclerosis in the body is a complex process, researchers are labouring on many fronts to find new ways to understand and treat this serious disease.

In the battle against atherosclerosis, the stakes remain high. Atherosclerosis involves inflammation and build-up of fatty plaques, or atheroma within vessel walls, which eventually lead to the hardening and narrowing of the arteries. When an atheroma ruptures, a blood clot can form to trigger a heart attack or stroke.

Because development of atherosclerosis in the body is a complex process, researchers are labouring on many fronts to find new ways to understand and treat this serious disease.

Apo-A1 Milano - Apolipoprotein A-1 Milano (also ETC-216, now MDCO-216) is a naturally occurring mutated variant of the apolipoprotein A1 protein found in human HDL, the lipoprotein particle that carries cholesterol from tissues to the liver and is associated with protection against cardiovascular disease. ApoA1 Milano was first identified by Dr. Cesare Sirtori in Milan, who also demonstrated that its presence significantly reduced cardiovascular disease, even though it caused a reduction in HDL levels and an increase in triglyceride levels.

Effect of Torcetrapib - Epidemiologic studies demonstrate an inverse relationship between levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Limited clinical trials have suggested that an increase in HDL cholesterol levels may reduce the progression of coronary atherosclerosis and decrease cardiovascular morbidity. Recently, the administration of the CETP inhibitor torcetrapib has been shown to increase HDL cholesterol levels by more than 50%. However, the effectiveness of CETP inhibition as a strategy for anti-atherosclerotic therapy has been controversial. Specific concern about the benefits and risks of torcetrapib emerged when initial clinical trials demonstrated a dose-dependent increase in blood pressure.

Nanobacteria - atherosclerosis - The decalcification of the nanobacteria initially was achieved with intravenous injection. Later, technology was developed that permitted the use of a suppository to dissolve the calcium off of the nanobacteria. More recently, there has been the development of oral tablets that are equally effective in dissolving the calcium of the nanobacteria and treating the nanobacteria. Studies in the early 2000s showed that patients treated for nanobacteria had significant reduction in their coronary artery calcium scores, a decrease in kidney stones, and atherosclerosis, as confirmed on serial screening CT scans.
miRNAs in atherosclerosis - In a recent study, subjects with atherosclerosis, as defined by coronary artery disease (CAD), showed significantly higher expression of miR-221 and   miR-222 in endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) compared to non-CAD subjects. Furthermore, miR-221/222 levels were observed to be inversely related to EPC levels, as CAD subjects had significantly less EPC numbers. Statins, inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, have previously been shown to increase circulating EPC numbers in subjects with CAD. Consistent with these observations, atorvastatin was shown to decrease miR-221 and miR-222 expression in EPCs. 

  • Apo-A1 Milano
  • Ramifications of Torcetrapib
  • Nanobacteria
  • miRNAs in Atherosclerosis

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